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Music is a gift. I am thankful to be given a chance to journey through life with this precious gift. I believe that our world in its most naked form is vibrations or movement. Once could even call it a dance. Quantum physics is coming up with more proof each day to support this idea. Science calls it quarks. I choose – Music.

Music to me, is life in its purest, infinitely blissful form. In one of my dreams, I saw myself sitting on the rings of Saturn singing the purest and clearest musical note. Waves of Love flowed through me as this heavenly note resonated through my body and soul. Bliss, Joy, Peace and Love resonated within me as this note vibrated. Tears streamed down and I knew the emotions I felt were real and came from a place deep within me I have yet to find.

Ever since I heard this “Heaven’s Note” in my dream, I have tried to recreate it on the saxophone, but to no avail.  Regretfully, I gave up trying to create this Sound.

By divine arrangement, I met Suzanne Grosvenor, an artist who helps people by creating personalised sound portraits. From my session with her, I learnt the importance of playing Music from my heart and not from my brain. I put this into practice. It was during the funeral of my dearest and beloved grandpa. I love my grandpa deeply and I know he still loves me deeply today, even though he is now in a different world. As I played “Amazing Grace” on the saxophone for the final farewell, I threw away completely everything I knew about Music, I threw away scales, chords, and whatever my brain wanted me to play to sound “musical”. There were only strong deep emotions inside me- love, grief, pain and loss. When I looked around at my family, I felt the exact same emotions coming back to me from them. These people were no longer bankers, directors, doctors or enemies. We were held together in that moment as one, feeling love and grief for the loss of this wonderful man. These emotions from my heart and the hearts of my family moved my fingers and Music flowed out from my horn. This Music was a sound I had never heard before and it became a language that joined us all as one together with my grandpa. I realised finally what playing from my heart meant.

The sounds of ECM records and Arvo Pärt came to me some months after my grandpa’s passing. They are a gift from the Divine to me. They were exactly like the sounds I heard in my Saturn dream. The sounds were pure, clear, bright, full, rich and divine. Arvo Pärt’s “Tabula Rasa” sounded like Heaven to me. Listening to it deep into the night, I saw angels circling above me in a web of love and warmth.

Arvo Pärt’s music was the answer I was looking for after my Saturn dream. It was the sound of Saturn’s rings resonating deep inside the sacred space of my heart. Arvo Pärt’s music was like a sacred bell leading me home, back into the sacred space of my heart. He called it tintinnabuli from the Latin word tintinnabulum, “a bell”. Sounds and Silence flow beautifully one after the other in his music. They are the Yin and the Yang, completing each other in perfect harmony and balance. It is from Silence – deserts of nothingness – that Music is born. Like our spiritual forefathers who spent long periods of solitude in the deserts before their missions began, Arvo Pärt spent years in solitude before his beautiful body of work emerged. Some call this “The Way of the Heart”, some call it meditation, some call it the writer’s block. This is the Silence before Creativity. This is the in-breath before the out-breath. This is a living process. This is life.

Sounds and Silence is tintinnabuli, a dance between polarities. It is a gift to me to guide me in my musical journey and my life.

Thank you for this Gift. Let us all listen as One together.

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  1. Hi Pan Liang,

    Your beautiful writing about how you experience your music touches me to my core. What you wrote about your grandpa’s passing and playing “Amazing grace” on your sax left me cryng. As you dropped everything you ever know and just allow yourself to be in your most raw and vulnerable state, all separation dissolved. There was no suffering, no identifications, no judgments. What’s left is the purest love and Silence.

    And yes, it is in the Silence where all creativity comes from.

    I often referred to any great works of art, be it painting, writing, music, etc. to be God’s inspired works. All the greatest artist in the world will tell you that during their inspiration while their work is being created, they experience this peak moment of absolute Silence beyond the mind. There was no doer or creator, simply just the beautiful art flowing through their being from the Source.

    Your experience of being in the “zone” resonated with me fully. And your are finally home!! Thank you for sharing these precious insights!!

    Like

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